Book Review: Deep Blue

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From the Back Cover:

The destruction of the old city must be prevented. John feeds the machine nightly. The devil in the fridge watches. Nobody wants to be a man-in-a-can anymore. Take in a show at Jeremy’s. Get your head checked at Fred’s. Ride the rails until the tracks are set ablaze by firefighters who fight fires with fire. Tuesday’s coming. Did you remember to bring your coat?

From Brian Auspice comes a down-the-rabbit-hole adventure into the depths of the human condition.

Now then…

You are walking down an unfamiliar street. People push past you, a dense mob of angry faces, stiff arms, and muttering voices. It feels dangerous but it offers no thrill. Every ounce of you wants to just run back home. Run back to what you know. To where it is safe.

But you can’t.

Because of that picture.

You happened upon it one day. A peculiar painting. It intrigued you. Then you read the words, just a few simple sentences, but their meaning eluded you.

It was a definitely coded message. This much you were certain. You knew that until you could decipher it, there would be no rest.

That picture and those cryptic words led you here. You stand at the end of an alley, a narrow mildew-coated murder channel. Your gut twists. Hope dies in halls such as these. Amongst the debris and detritus, you spot a faceless man, his back pressed the back wall. He beckons. Bravely, perhaps stupidly, you ignore the scent of wither and woe and push forward. For you must know the answer.

You must!

Curiously, he pulls a chair out from the shadows and gestures for you to sit. You obey. He hands you a straw and a mirror. A line of fine powder sits upon it, expectant and eager.

You wave your hand. Not for you. Emphatically, he points back down to it and your eyes follow. You watch the granules. They begin a dance, pushing to and fro, zigzagging across the length of the mirror. They take a shape – is it a caterpillar? A slug? A simple worm? Whatever it is, it is looking at you.

Then the scream. A most terrible scream!

TOO LATE!

The scream is yours for you have chosen suck in this devil dune of exotic dust.

Your head snaps back. Your chest tightens. A terrible ringing fills your ears. Sweat explodes from every pore. You feel as if you are going to die.

You are most definitely going to die.

Your hands clench your thighs. Your nails dig deep, their purchase met with a slow, warm trickle of blood. Your stomach cramps and you curl forward, as a maddening parade of tiny men sealed in cans sing to you. Mono-color flashes blind you, viciously betraying you with every hue of color. Faces fold and slide through newly formed fissures in the brick.

You can hear your bones crack. A symphony of fractures. Glorious! Then, a choir of laughter. The rise and fall of a cackle. The huff of a guffaw. And lastly, a snicker.

Are you laughing? Are these voices your own?

The abyss calls and you answer. A change of scene occurs…

You wake in your bed.
In your room.
In the house that you know.
All is well.
You cracked the code.
You solved the riddle.
You smile.
You now know a secret.

You have just read Deep Blue.

I give this book a rating of: Five Twisted Little People in Funny Hats.

 

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